Koh Samui: Lunch in Lamai Town

Travel Period : 9th Jun – 13th Jun 2011

{ Previous Post: Koh Samui: Lamai Beach }

It was late morning when we stepped out of the resort into Lamai Town, where its streets were still relatively quiet with occasional vehicles passing by. Asian travelers are uncommon here, at least in Lamai, which resulted in funny moments where locals rode or walked past us and greeted us in Japanese, such as ‘Konichiwa’ for ‘Good Afternoon’. (They are really very friendly people) They had clearly mistaken us as Japanese, though we couldn’t understand why since we hadn’t met any throughout our entire trip.

Anyway, we didn’t bring our stroller along as the roads were narrow and the pavements by the sides not stroller-friendly, with many rough bumps and uneven grounds. Dar was quite reluctant to walk though, probably due to him feeling tired after our swim at Lamai Beach earlier.

Lining the streets were mainly massage parlours, restaurants and bars, with only a few fashion and provision shops available. As we walked on, nothing really caught our interests. Feeling a little hungry and with the time close to noon, we decided to look for a place to rest and have our lunch. We passed by a restaurant selling BBQ seafood but the BBQ section would only open in the evenings.

[ Thai-Pan Restaurant ]

As we walked on, we saw this deserted but cosy restaurant named ‘Thai-Pan’, which had a simple but nice layout and reasonably priced food. We found our seats and ordered two bowls of Tom Yum Goong and Pineapple Rice, plus a plate of fried cuttlefish. We also ordered a coconut each.

While waiting for our food to arrive, we got Dar to try the coconut juice. After he drank it, he didn’t like the taste and refuse to drink it again.

Soon, several guests began to walk in, probably after seeing us in the restaurant. This situation happens quite often with us, whether in Thailand or back in Singapore, that when we first got into a shop or restaurant, the place is still empty. After a while, people will start coming in after seeing that we are in the shop. Looks like most people will only feel ‘safe’ entering shops or restaurants with customers inside. ^^|

A family portrait as the food arrived. Dar was wearing the Koh Samui Map T-shirt we bought from the Big Buddha area
Thumbs up for their nice food and service!

The food was delicious and the Tom Yum Goong was the best out of the few we had tried the few days before in Ninja Crepes and The Happy Elephant. The pineapple rice was comparable to the one we ate in Paradise Park Farm. The fried cuttlefish was nicer in Ninja Crepes though.

Halfway through our meal, a vehicle with large posters and speakers mounted on it went past the restaurant and came to a stop nearby. Vehicles like these are a common sight in Koh Samui, where they act as a form of advertisements, be it for tourist attractions/events (boxing nights) or even for their upcoming election.

Usually, we wouldn’t be bothered much by them as they would just pass by swiftly with their speakers at full blast. In this case however, the driver decided to sit somewhere and rest blasting the music continuously for 20mins. The music and message (in Thai so we couldn’t understand) just kept ringing in our ears constantly, disrupting our meal. The vehicle only left when we were about to finish our food. 🙁

Souvenir Shop In An Alley 

After we finished our lunch, we continued walking down the street. There was an alley and we spotted a souvenir shop at the end of it. As we were looking for more souvenirs to be bought back for ourselves, friends and families, the shop immediately caught our attention.

When we walked in, we found no one inside. We soon realised the female shop owner was actually having a nap on her makeshift bed by the side just outside her shop and she immediately woke up after seeing us. The business then was probably so slow that she took a rest.

She was of course very happy and excited to see us, offering suggestions about what we could buy, without being too pushy. We were alright with her enthusiasm since we were genuinely looking for some things to get from her shop and some of her recommendations were useful. Her stuff looks interesting and exotic to us too.

In the end, we bought some nice embroidered covers for tissue boxes from the shop. We bargained a little on the prices but didn’t insist on lowering them too much. We felt there was no point causing unhappiness over a few dollars, especially when this amount could mean much more to her than us.

Following that, we went on to explore the street further down a bit more, before deciding to turn back towards our resort so that we could take a nap. We planned to return to the streets again in the late afternoon to check out Lamai’s ‘Walking Street’. Hopefully it would not disappoint us! { This post was written in 2011 after the trip }

Next Post: Tasting Street Food in Lamai Walking Street